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MEMBER'S COMMENTS APRIL 2014
 

Andy Stanton
01/04/2014



I've just amended Lilli Marlene.  The lyric we had before was the faithful translation of the original German lyric.  I've changed it to the lyric sung by Vera Lynn, i.e. the one we all know (and love).

Could you make sure you have printed off the revised copy of this before Wednesday.

Thanks
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Andy Stanton
01/04/2014



I've been working on a method for presenting the survey results, which I intend to share when I'm back with the group on the ninth.

In the meantime we've had 7 returns, which some might argue is a significant sample for a group of our size.  Nonetheless, I would like those who haven't made a return yet (and it's still early days) to have the opportunity to contribute.

But in the meantime the provisional results suggests that there is some disparity between the songs we are confident with, and the songs that we like. Only four in our top ten of songs we feel we can play confidently feature in the top ten of songs we like.

Contrary bunch, aren't we?

Please, if you haven't done your return yet, then please find the time to do it!

Thanks
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JeffT
03/04/2014



I remember some comments at our last meeting about the amount of songs on our list. I can't remember if the consensus was that we have enough??
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David Hall
04/04/2014



Join the club Jeff, I don't even remember this being discussed. could be that I am going deaf of course!
David. H.
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Tony Dawes
05/04/2014



Hi Everyone, Never mind the volume of numbers we should keep adding to keep us practicing and moving forward. Perhaps we could Cull some of the lesser liked stuff he have in our pads.Perhaps the results of the survey will help with this.


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Andy Stanton
05/04/2014



Interesting comment, Tony.  To date we've had no less than 9 returns on the survey.  If we could have a few more say by Tuesday morning, I'd be in a position to do a quick presentation on Wednesday.

Tony, there is a close, but not exact, correlation between stuff we do well, and stuff we like.  Some of the stuff we like we don't do well at all.  My suggestion is that we prioritise the stuff we are good at, rather than the stuff we like.
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David N
09/04/2014



I have only just gone to computer and seen the survey. I will complete it, eventually but just to let everyone know.....I am quite happy to play anything and everything from classics to 60>s pop, (not really interested in the modern pop). As long as I have my music in front of me I>m okay.  
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David Hall
09/04/2014



Well I really enjoyed myself today and feel confident that we have the measure of enough songs to give a good account of ourselves at "The Troc". My list would include: Button up your Overcoat, Living Doll, lily of Laguna, Dirty old Town, Singing the Blues,and Oh Boy, for the first set. Then after a tea and cake break, Putting on the Agony, Cockney Medley, Leaning on a Lamp post, Listen to the Rhythm of the falling Rain, Travelling Light,ending with Bye Bye Love. We may not need this many but I will have further talks with "The Troc" before we finalise the list. As always your comments are welcome.
David H.
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Andy Stanton
10/04/2014



It was a good session. The recent confidence shows in the way that folk are 1. falling into the rhythm of the songs and capturing that rhythm in the strumming patterns 2. experimenting with different vocal parts.  When you start doing that then you really start enjoying yourself.

For the beginners group I'm planning to put some introductory material on the beginner's forum. (LOG IN, click BEGINNERS, click FORUM).  It would be handy if folk could look at that before next week.
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Andy Stanton
14/04/2014



Which song was it that we did last week with all the vocal harmonies going?
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Andy Stanton
15/04/2014



Hello my friends!
If you go to the playlist page you may notice that just at the top of the ratings for 'Confidence' and 'Popularity' now appears the word 'Results'.
Click on this and you will get the lists for confidence (ratings in red) and popularity (ratings in green).
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JeffT
15/04/2014



Just had a look, thank you Andy. We do seem to be very confident about a lot of songs (in fact more confident than I would have thought).
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Andy Stanton
15/04/2014



I'm not surprised.  We have practiced a number of these songs a lot over the last year.
Neither am I surprised that so few of these scores are well over 5 indicating that there is still a large dependance on the song sheets.

Learn the lyrics!  

The irony is that the lyric is the easy bit.

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JeffT
15/04/2014



I would agree, the lyrics are the easy bit, but for people like me (basically non musicians) the knowledge of what chord is next and at exactly which point the change occurs leads to lack of confidence when playing without a script.  
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Andy Stanton
16/04/2014



Indeed, but it is important to take this next step.  What you might try doing is take a tune you know you can play well, and without reference to the song sheet just hum the tune instead of sing the lyric.  You'll find that you pick up an understanding of when to change chord will fall into place.
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Andy Stanton
16/04/2014



By the way Jeff, I don't buy the idea that you are a 'non musician'.  Over the last year you have developed an awareness of rhythm, and have now got a confident strumming style.  You have an awareness of pitch and melody, but most of all you have an enthusiasm necessary to develop your technique.  I think you're at the stage where you should try riding the bike without the safety wheels.  I've every confidence that once you find you can do this your own playing will take off!
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tony dawes
16/04/2014



Hi Jeff, Don't knock yourself, I would have thought you are one of the more accomplished MUSICIAANS in the group, you have excellent knowledge of chord shapes and structures you love playing and practising, that's all it takes! You have even found where the brakes are! Just remember we are all in the same boat, learning all the time.
( musician definition: person who makes or performs music)!!!!QED
Tony
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David Hall
16/04/2014



I could not have said it any better myself Tony, and, I value your quiet but confident and positive contributions you make in our practice sessions.
Many thanks David.
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JeffT
17/04/2014



If You do a search on But That's Not On The Songsheet! Get Out Of Your Ukulele Rut. You can get directly to the Blog.
I think this is what he is on about
Click to ENLARGE video clip

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Andy Stanton
17/04/2014



I had an email from Gordon Eden this morning suggesting we look at the following link:

www.gotaukulele.com/2014/04/but-thats-not-on-songsheet-get-out-of.html

It says some fairly cogent things about playing as a large group, inviting us to be far less cautious and experiment more.   Song sheets are a problem for a number of reasons:-
1. inconsistency - not everybody uses the same sheets (different keys, different lyrics)
2. They do not convey the rhythm of the song (as sheet music does)
3. It acts as a constraint - you don't deviate from what is understood as safe, and finally
4. It becomes a psychological crutch.  Rather than perform the song you end up reciting a lyric.

Thanks Gordon for bringing that to our attention.
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jacq
17/04/2014



I would just like to say how much I got out of the 1st Beginners group session, thanks to Andy. Just practicing strumming patterns alone and then to known songs was great. It helped me to change from chord to chord and highlighted chords that I was probably consistently fluffing!! It has given me a new way of practicing
I hope the three new people did not find it all too confusing for a first session and that they continue to come.
For them, and any other potentials, I cannot believe how far I have come in a year and how much I really enjoy the sessions
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Andy Stanton
18/04/2014



Jacq, thanks for those kind words.

The bit that went better than I expected yesterday was the explanation of how chords relate to each other, and I thought it might be useful to share that with the whole group.

Let's take for example the key of C Major.  There are a number of chords that work well with C, and it's no real accident that they do.  All keys have a dominant note (fifth note in the scale) and a subdominant note (fourth note in the scale).  There is also a relative minor key, that is the minor key that uses the same scale as the major key.  For C it is as follows:-



The fun thing is that once you know this you can just jam around with the chords.
Give it a try.

(v are downstrums, ^ are up strums, v is on the on beat or the one you count on, while ^ is on the off beat, the short beat in between. If you count ONE AND TWO AND THREE AND FOUR then all the ANDs are on the off beat)

Try this

C v v ^ v v |Am v v ^ v v|C v v ^ v v |Am v v ^ v v|

F v v ^ v v |G7 v v ^ v v|F v v ^ v v |G7 v v ^ v v|

C v v ^ v v |Am v v ^ v v|C v v ^ v v |Am v v ^ v v|C

You can do this same little tune in other keys just by substituting the chords by use of this simple table.



and this one:-




For example in the Key of G, D is the dominant chord, C is the subdominant chord and Em is the relative minor chord, and with that you play the above riff as:-

G v v ^ v v |Em v v ^ v v|G v v ^ v v |Em v v ^ v v|

C v v ^ v v |D7 v v ^ v v|C v v ^ v v |D7 v v ^ v v|

G v v ^ v v |Em v v ^ v v|G v v ^ v v |Em v v ^ v v|G

and so on through the entire scale.

The beauty about practicing this way (it's called knurdling) is that you don't need any lyrics and so no song sheets, but you do develop a sense of how chords work together to make a tune.

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tony dawes
19/04/2014



Hi Andy, glad to hear that Wednesdays session went well. Any help required let me know.
Do you have the chords for 'Georgia on my mind', or do you know where I can get them. I have searched all the contact lists with no luck.
Talk soon
Tony
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Andy Stanton
19/04/2014



I have just this moment added Georgia on My Mind to the play list.
With no less than 17 chords it is complicated, and that is before you start working out a rhythm for this special kind of blues.
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Tony Dawes
20/04/2014



Hi Andy, thanks a lot for Georgia, it has been going around in my head and perhaps I can now get rid of it. Could you check the chords F dim and G dim they appear to be the same. Many thanks,
Talk soon
Tony
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Andy Stanton
20/04/2014



Thanks Tony.  I'm a little puzzled by your last remark 'Could you check the chords F dim and G dim they appear to be the same'.  I have checked and they look radically different.
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Tony Dawes
20/04/2014



Sorry Andy, I meant Gdm&Edim!
Tony
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JeffT
20/04/2014



Hi, I acknowledge that chord can have the same shape but different names, depending on context (I don't understand why, but accept it) but why in the same tune?
As if life is not hard enough!  
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chris
20/04/2014



Hello, I quite like the fact that learning 1 chord shape covers 4 options.
Bbdim,Dbdim,Edim and Gdim. When it's easy.
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Andy Stanton
20/04/2014



There's a limit to the number of changers you can ring on a four string instrument.  A rose by any other name smells as sweet.  Sometimes, as Jeff mentions it is more convenient to call it one thing in one context and something else in a different one.  It's handy for things like chord progressions and such stuff.  There are other duplications.  Eg.  F and Dm7 are the same.
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Andy Stanton
22/04/2014



YOU'RE SIXTEEN INTRO

While we're on the subject of strumming patterns here's one for the intro to You're Sixteen (v are downstrums, ^ are up strums,- is a rest of one beat,| is a bar).

C                            G7
V ^ V ^ V ^ V ^ | V ^ V   V   - |

Remember that the down strums are on the ON BEAT (the one you count on) and the up strums are on the OFF BEAT.  The trick on this little riff is to change to G7 on the OFF BEAT.  This can be tricky, but it is very effective when you get it right.

Like wise when G7 is used for a turn around (end of first, third and finally verses) it does the same thing:-

  G7
V ^ V   V   - |

Give it a try before tomorrow
Also I've made a small alteration to the song sheet.  Some of the verses start with G7 before quickly moving to C.

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JeffT
23/04/2014



I have been looking at "Five Foot Two". the bit where we stumble "betcha life it isn't her" in some versions it is tacet after the single strum of G7 on 'betcha', until the start of the next line (so "cha life it isn't her", is unaccompanied)
Can those who are interested have a quick try to get a consensus.
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Andy Stanton
24/04/2014



Good call, Jeff.  That works.  I'll alter the song sheet.

By the way (incidentally notice that I used 'By the way' rather than 'BTW', which is supposed to save space), I salvaged my 'guest' ukulele in the way you described.  It is certainly an improvement but I still feels it comes under the category of tasks best described as "attempting to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".

At least the sow's ear is a bit easier to play than it was.
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Andy Stanton
25/04/2014



Hi everybody I came across this clip of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performing a gig 25 years ago.


Click to ENLARGE video clip

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